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Christmas sandwiches 2017: Festive bites ranked worst to best

The Independent logo The Independent 09/11/2017 Rachel Hosie

a desk with a laptop computer sitting on top of a wooden table © Provided by Independent Print Limited A decade ago, a Christmas sandwich was simply something you'd have at 8pm on Christmas Day, despite the fact that you’d been eating all day long.

You’d simply stuff everything you’d eaten earlier on between two slices of bread, and Bob’s your uncle, Christmas sandwich.

But now. Now Christmas sandwiches are big business, with every supermarket and cafe on the high street offering their own spin on a festive sarnie.

The trouble is, you’re too spoilt for choice. How do you know which one to choose?

Fear not. Fortunately for you, we’ve put the hard work (and calories) in to create a definitive ranking of this year’s Christmas sandwich offerings.

We’ve eaten an absurd - or frankly, obscene - number of sandwiches and have very much commenced the seasonal weight gain early, but it’s all the name of public service.

So behold, our ranking of the 2017 Christmas sandwiches, from worst to best.

Boots ham hock, chutney and spinach sandwich

Look: Pretty sad.

Taste: To quote one Independent team member: “Overly soggy, little taste and greasy.”

Is it Christmassy? Nope.

Score out of 10: 2

Crussh vegan carrot and nut roast

Look: Not very exciting. Huge slices of raw carrot do not massively appeal. Looks a bit sad. 

Taste: The bread is nice and soft but there isn’t much nut going on. To quote a colleague: “The carrot and lentil sandwich I just had was quite incredibly terrible.” It wasn't even lentils.

Is it Christmassy? Not in the slightest.

Score out of 10: 3

Tesco hog roast and scorched apple roll (launching 13 November)

Look: Decent.

Taste: Not so decent. “All you can taste is apples,” commented one disgruntled and disappointed Independent writer.

Is it Christmassy? Negatory.

Score out of 10: 4

Asda turkey triple wrap (launching 6 November)

Look: Uninspiring.

Taste: The wrap is soft but due to the spread of fillings, you don’t get all the flavours in every mouthful and it’s dry in the bits where there’s no cranberry sauce or stuffing. One unimpressed colleague had a lot to say on it: “It has some of the elements of a good roast Christmas dinner but the warming, homely nature of the meal is totally lost in translation to the wrap format. The ingredients seem weird without the traditional accompaniment of roast potatoes and parsnips, sprouts and bread sauce. The addition of raw spinach did not help. It didn't kill me but I won't be rushing to buy another one. It's a poor substitute for the Boxing Day leftover turkey sandwich.” Brutal.

Is it Christmassy? It has most of the festive flavours, yes.

Score out of 10: 4

Pret vegan Christmas lunch

Look: Better than it tastes.

Taste: It’s essentially a raw carrot sandwich. Which is very sad. It’s not a patch on last year’s Pret vegan Christmas baguette, that’s for sure. At least there’s some nice spice.

Is it Christmassy? As festive as clementines. So loosely.

Score out of 10: 4

Marks & Spencer vegan chestnut roast wrap

(M&S) © Provided by Independent Print Limited (M&S)

Look: Overwhelmingly orange.

Taste: Overwhelmingly carroty.

Is it Christmassy? Not really.

Score out of 10:

Starbucks turkey feast panini

© Provided by Independent Print Limited

Look: Average (not as good as the above)

Taste: The cranberry studded bread is nice, but it tastes a bit like a hot cross bun. The panini as a whole isn’t particularly exciting though - the bacon is very streaky and it needs cheese.

Is it Christmassy? Ish.

Score out of 10: 5

Pret smoked salmon baguette

Look: Like a smoked salmon baguette.

Taste: Like a smoked salmon baguette. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else. The bread is good though.

Is it Christmassy? Not particularly.

Score out of 10: 5

Asda turkey feast grab bag

Look: Like a well-filled turkey sandwich.

Taste: There was ample filling but a lack of festive spices which made it a bit bland and a bit meh. The cranberry sauce is particularly sweet.

Is it Christmassy? Not really.

Score out of 10: 5

Sainsbury’s Christmas dinner in brioche roll

Look: Fantastic (in the packaging at least). We’ve got to hand it to Sainsbury’s for the creativity - the way the roll is packaged makes it looks like a snow globe and there are stars on top of the bun too.

Taste: Sadly not as good as you want it to be. The mayo flavour of the coleslaw overwhelms the whole thing and it feels like it’s seriously missing sausage.

Is it Christmassy? A bit. But it won’t leave you fuzzy inside.

Score out of 10: 5

Boots turkey, stuffing and redcurrant sandwich

Look: Adequate.

Taste: Just like a jam sandwich. The redcurrant, whilst making a nice change, overwhelms everything else. A disappointing and unsatisfying sandwich.

Is it Christmassy? Kind of.

Score out of 10: 5.5/10

Aldi turkey feast with pigs under blankets (launching 6 November)

Look: Pretty sad and grey.

Taste: The sausage tastes pretty processed and fake, the bacon is streaky and there’s a strong mustard undertone, but the bread is soft and there’s a decent Christmas flavour.

Is it Christmassy? Yes.

Score out of 10: 6

Co-op smoked cheddar and bacon relish sandwich

Look: Average

Taste: “Good soft poppy seed bread, if you’re into that sort of thing,” commented one Independent team member. “The combination of smoked cheddar and slightly sweet maple syrup bacon is odd to me but somehow works. The textures aren’t great -- everything is a bit too easy to bite through and a bit of crunch wouldn’t be bad but it’s a decent sandwich.” The cheese was also described as “unsettlingly creamy” for a cheddar.

Is it Christmassy? “The main issue is it’s not Christmassy at all,” he went on. “There’s nothing Christmas about it.”

Score out of 10: 6

Pret Christmas salad

Look: Pretty fresh

Taste: We know, we know, this isn’t a sandwich. But the idea of a Christmas salad is pretty unusual so we had to try it out. Reader, we were disappointed. It’s essentially the veggie sandwich filling, on a bed of leaves. It’s vegetarian, but we couldn’t help but think some hearty meat or stuffing was missing. The squash was good though.

Is it Christmassy? A teensy bit. But let's be real here, Christmas is no time for salad.

Score out of 10: 6

Crussh Festive turkey feast

Look: With clear layers of bacon, turkey and stuffing, it looks almost clinical.

Taste: The cranberry provides a pleasant tangy sweetness and it’s a tasty sandwich if you like cranberries. However a less keen colleague found it “very bland apart from the cranberry, like a salty jam sandwich.”

Is it Christmassy? Yes, it tastes like Christmas. Albeit a potentially blander than usual Christmas.

Score out of 10: 6.5

Sainsbury’s turkey feast wrap

Look: Like any old wrap

Taste: The sausage flavour is dominant which is great if you like sausage (one team member remarked: “it had cocktail sausages in it I'm shook”,) and the bacon isn’t too streaky. The overall flavour is quite sweet and not as tangy as some of the other sandwiches.

Is it Christmassy? A wrap just is not a Christmas food.

Score out of 10: 6.5

Pret meaty Christmas lunch

Look: Not bad, not bad.

Taste: We wanted it to be great. We really did. But it was just good. It didn’t wow us and mainly just tasted like a standard turkey sandwich.

Is it Christmassy? Sure.

Score out of 10: 6.5

Boots pigs under blankets sandwich

Look: Like a bacon and sausage sandwich.

Taste: Like pigs in blankets deconstructed and placed between bread, so what’s not to like? It’s rather tasty, if not wowing.

Is it Christmassy? Questionably.

Score out of 10: 6.5

Tesco Finest vegan bubble and squeak with spiced red cabbage roll (launching 13 November)

Look: Quite appealing.

Taste: It’s a nice change from a nut roast for veggies and vegans and the flavours are good.

Is it Christmassy? Not really.

Score out of 10: 7

Boots parsnip fritter and butternut squash sandwich

Look: Colourful and quite inviting.

Taste: Enjoyably different from most veggie offerings with lots of textures. Inoffensive.

Is it Christmassy? Not really.

Score out of 10: 7

Starbucks turkey club thin flatbread

(Starbucks) © Provided by Independent Print Limited (Starbucks) Look: Not as good as the official picture.

Taste: Better than it looks! There’s a pleasingly subtle undertone of Christmas spices, delightful melting cheese and crunchy fresh slaw, which makes a change from all the meat-heavy, veg-free sarnies on the market.

Is it Christmassy? Quite.

Score out of 10: 7

Tesco Turkey & Trimmings Triple Sandwich (launching 13 November)

Look: Average.

Taste: It’s very much a sandwich of three halves, if you will. “It was nice but it felt like having three Christmas dinners in one sitting,” remarked an Independent staffer, “Which is a pro or con, depending on your viewpoint. The stuffing was nice, turkey wasn’t dry.”

Is it Christmassy? Indeed.

Score out of 10: 7.5

Tesco Finest turkey feast sandwich (launching 13 November)

Look: Not bad.

Taste: Actually really nice. The stuffing flavour is dominant and there’s no sausage though. A colleague agreed: “It was really tasty and a nice balance with the amount of cranberry sauce.”

Is it Christmassy? Rather.

Score out of 10: 8

Pret veggie Christmas lunch

Look: Delicious to be honest, packed with colour.

Taste: It’s hearty for a veggie sandwich with lots of filling (we’re big fans of the butternut squash) but a bit much rocket.

Is it Christmassy? Meh.

Score out of 10: 8

Marks & Spencer turkey feast sandwich

(M&S) © Provided by Independent Print Limited (M&S)

Look: Pretty appetising.

Taste: The meat tastes the highest quality of all the similar sandwiches and there’s a good balance of all the ingredients in the filling, but no sausage. You eat it and actually don't hate yourself afterwards - five per cent of the cost goes to charity too.

Is it Christmassy? You betcha.

Score out of 10: 8.5

Co-op turkey and trimmings triple sandwich

Look: Pretty good.

Taste: With turkey breast, chicken stock mayonnaise, pork sausage, cranberry sauce, sage and onion stuffing and cooked diced bacon, this sandwich is buttery, rich and - according to one team member: “everything you want in a sandwich.” The balance of flavours is good.

Is it Christmassy? As Christmassy as St Nick himself.

Score out of 10: 9

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